Shoaib Akhtar has come up with an intriguing explanation for Babar Azam's lack of runs in the ongoing Test series between Pakistan and Zimbabwe. The former bowler has opined that waiting to bat at no. 4 for a long time when the top three is scoring big runs is the reason why Babar Azam has failed to get going in the series.
Babar Azam has had a tough time against Zimbabwe in the two-match Test series so far, the Pakistan captain returning scores of 0 and 2. After falling for a golden duck in the first Test, the batsman scored just 2 on Friday on the first day of the second Test against Zimbabwe.
Explaining his compatriot's lack of runs, Shoaib Akhtar observed:
"Worrying point is again Babar Azam because he is not scoring runs. Against this (Zimbabwe) team, he has to wait for his turn because first opener and then Azhar Ali played long innings. Babar has to wear his pads and be ready during that time, which is the best and worst part of Test cricket. You have to sit and watch with concentration. and you can’t talk much as well. So, basically you are in a quarantine within a quarantine," Akhtar said on PTV Sports.
The former speedster, however, said that the Pakistan captain has tried his best, but sometimes things don't go the way as planned.
"Babar should have scored atleast 300-400 runs during this series, Sometimes it happens that you can’t score runs, but I’m sure Babar is trying his best. We expect a lot from him, so we should try to stay positive," said Akhtar.
Pakistan went on to register a comfortable win by an innings and 116 runs in the first Test. Hasan Ali won the Man of the Match for picking nine wickets and scoring 30 runs.
Meanwhile, in the second Test in Harare, Abid Ali and Azhar Ali put on a 236 run partnership for the third wicket before getting separated at the fag end of the day's play. Babar Azam failed to get going for the second time in the series, as he was caught at point off Blessing Muzarabani.
Babar Azam nominated for the ICC Player of the Month award for April
Babar Azam might be going through a lean patch against Zimbabwe, but he was recently rewarded for his impressive outings against South Africa. The Pakistan captain, along with fellow teammate Fakhar Zaman and Nepal's Kushan Bhurtel, have been nominated for the ICC Player of the Month award for April.
Last month, Babar Azam scored 228 runs at a strike rate of 104 in the 3-match ODI series against South Africa, including two Man-of-the-Match performances.
However, the batsman didn't have the best of times in the T20I series against Zimbabwe, scoring only 2, 41 and 52. His knock of 41 came off 45 balls came in a losing cause, though, as Pakistan failed to chase down a 119-run target in the second T20I.